1.0 Week 1 Project-Your Pitch
For my class this month, I'm in Directing. We had to shoot a video to pitch our next big video project.
I want you to shoot and star in your own close-up. 2-3 min. in duration. You can use different camera angles and set ups but do not change the shot size. You can edit this project if you wish. You can do it as a master shot with no coverage if you would like.
I want you to PITCH your idea for your FINAL PROJECT for this months DIRECTING FINAL PROJECT in WEEK 4. We all have a story we want to bring to the screen....THIS YOUR TIME TO DO SO.
Just be yourself. You do not have to act.
Explain to me the short NARRATIVE film (2-5 minutes)
Have fun. I know you can do this.
This month, I'm taking Popular Culture in Media as a humanities class, something I'm really excited about. Here's my essay I wrote for class.
Select a recent popular culture media creation (film, TV, electronic game, recording) that reuses actual parts of an older popular culture media recording in a substantial way. The media creation can be a recording, a TV show, a film, or a game. The actual earlier media recording must be reused relatively substantially in the newer media creation. To fit this requirement they must reuse all of part of the actual older media creation.
This essay will discuss the repurposing of the Munster’s Theme song as a sample in the song “Uma Thurman” by the alternative rock group, Fall Out Boy. Often times people repurpose content because they know that it’s already successful. By using a bit of the music that is already known to be catchy, the producers can help insure that this song will also be catchy. As well, songs especially, but other types of media as well, evoke feelings and can cause you to think of something else entirely, unrelated to the song. This particular reason really applies to “Uma Thurman.” (Vega, 2017)
of a “60s surf-rock vibe“ (Daw, 2015). Marshall worked on plenty of other television shows, creating the musical scores and themes. Outside of composing, he was also a conductor and guitarist. (Jack Marshall, 2017)
pop culture who were quirky, but that made [Pete] only crush on them harder” (Davidson, 2015). The actress’ did give her blessing to use her name in the song (Uma Thurman on 'Burnt,'..., 2015). It’s become popular to use old songs as samples in new songs, this is probably part of the appeal. The song is also very catchy. As well, the topic of the song is relevant because it’s becoming more mainstream to not just be basic. Quirckiness is encouraged, if that’s who you actually are.
A section of the Munster’s theme song was sampled for the Fall Out Boy song and plays at the end of the chorus. The music was composed separate from the lyrics and because of people’s reactions to it, it was combined. When it was played for people, many people said that it reminded them (or some people even thought that it was) the song by Dick Dale that was used in the film Pulp Fiction, "Misirlou." "Misirlou" has a definite 60’s surfer rock, like most of Dick Dale’s songs (Dick Dale and His Del-Tone…, 2014). Because people began associating/mistaking the Munsters theme with Pulp Fiction, Pete Wentz, thought it would pair well with a song entitled Uma Thurman, who starred in Pulp Fiction (Nassiff, 2015). The chorus of the song states, “She wants to dance like Uma Thurman,” which is a reference to the scene in Pulp Fiction, where Thurman’s character dances with John Travolta's character (Wentz, 2015. Tarantino, 1995). I do think that the use of the older element was successful in this song. Since I am a huge fan of Pulp Fiction, I knew that it wasn’t the Dick Dale song used in that film. It does, however, really give off a similar vibe. Music is a huge part of Quentin Tarantino films, at least for me. Without fail, “Stuck in the Middle With You” always reminds me of Reservoir Dogs, anytime that song comes on (Tarantino, 1992). Surf Rock reminds me of Pulp Fiction. Nothing in the song explicitly says Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace (Thurman’s character in Pulp Fiction), Kill Bill, or The Bride (Thurman’s character in Kill Bill). However, making references to these films’ plots, having this sample, and naming it “Uma Thurman,” we are able to draw the meaning and this makes it successful. Overall, the old element is pretty important to the song. It helps connect elements without having to spell them out and puts the listener in the right mindset.
As you can see, “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy is a great example of repurposing popular culture, with its sample of the Munster theme song. The song is about quirky girls, which the show, The Munsters, was often described the same way. In this way, the sample fits in the song and is one of the ways popular culture is successfully repurposed, sharing similar themes. When people heard the Munster’s theme within this song, not in the context of the show, people associated it with Pulp Fiction because of the surfer rock music. This is also a good use of repurposed popular culture. The use of this sample within the Fall Out Boy song, builds upon something we already know from popular culture.
Vega, J. [Jamie Vega]. (2017, August 2). PCM GoToTraining Week 1 [Video File].
Davidson, A. (2015, August 11). Listen to Fall Out Boy's ode to Uma Thurman.
Retrieved October 23, 2017, from http://www.digitalspy.com/music/news/
Daw, R. (2015, January 12). Fall Out Boy's New Song "Uma Thurman" Blends
Handclaps, The 'Munsters' Theme & An Undeniable Chorus: Listen. Retrieved
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Dick Dale and His Del-Tones, 'Misirlou'. (2014, May 21). Retrieved October 24, 2017,
Jack Marshall. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2017, from
Marshall, J. (1966). The Munsters’ Theme [Recorded by Jack Marshall]. Hollywood,
Nassiff, T. (2015, February 02). Fall Out Boy Talk New Single "Uma Thurman,"
'Munsters' Sample. Retrieved October 24, 2017, from https://www.fuse.tv/
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California: Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
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Uma Thurman on 'Burnt,'efforts to save rhinos, Fall Out Boy tribute. (2015, October 26).
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Wentz, P. (2015). Uma Thurman [Recorded by Fall Out Boy]. On American Beauty,
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Probably the biggest thing I learned was the importance of headphones. Honestly, I didn't think the room sounded that echoey when I was talking to my talent before the interview started. I meant to bring headphones, but ended up forgetting them. I didn’t really think of them as much priority on them because I thought the room sounded okay in person. Overall, I’m very happy with my mini doc, minus the audio. For a mini doc, done in this style, the audio of the interview is so important. It will literally make up the majority of the sound the audience hears. In the future, my headphones are never leaving my camera bag! Great audio makes for a great finished product.
The next thing I learned was not talking over talent. It’s such a strange situations to ask a question and just remain silent until they’re done making their point. I would actually love to know the professionals handle this. To me, it seems like talent is more likely to stop talking, if you don’t encourage them to continue. I could be wrong, but I know it would make me uncomfortable. This is something I will try to not do in the future. I think I need to do more research on how to be an interviewer.
Finally, making this mini doc has taught me that I will likely use two cameras in the future, if I know B-roll will be hard to come by. I will inevitably make cuts in the interview footage. By having a second camera, that will give me another options of cut to, in case I don’t have b-roll. It will also increase the production value without making too much more work for me. I would probably just bring my DSLR and a small tripod (since that camera is smaller than our FS5s).
The Dark Side of Film History
Disclaimer: This essay is in no way a defense of the deplorable things that Harvey Weinstein has done. No amount of "good" a person can do makes sexual assault in ANYWAY justifiable.
As a long time fan of independent films, I’ve been heartbroken and angry to learn the truth about Harvey Weinstein. Since I was 16, I've dreamed of working for the Weinstein Company. Learning what this man has done to people in this industry, doing the jobs I dream of doing is horrifying, especially as minority in this industry.
In the wake of this scandal, countless articles are being published about the man. However, one really stuck out to me. It was an article by IndieWire, Harvey Weinstein Accusations: How Film Festival Environments Provided a Backdrop For Sexual Assault, which I completely agree. Indie filmmakers are required to grovel at the feet of powerful people, like Harvey Weinstein. And these people know it. However, it was the caption I had a real issue with; “The time has come to stop giving Harvey Weinstein so much credit for '90s American indies.”
I do think Harvey deserves a ton of the credit for indie films being so popular in America. IndieWire even mentions Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, and Michael Moore's movies. With those films alone, I think you can’t take that title away from him.
This line of thought helped me to recall much of what I learned in my Motion Picture History class. The history of films is plagued with bad people. It has quite a dark past (and present, and future unless we do something about it). Here’s two others.
Birth of a Nation
Let us not forget that movies are what they are today because of Birth of a Nation, and explicitly racist piece, but nonetheless Hollywood’s first blockbuster. “The domestic melodrama/epic originally premiered with the title The Clansman in February, 1915 in Los Angeles, California, but three months later was retitled with the present title at its world premiere in New York, to emphasize the birthing process of the US,” says AMC’s Filmsite.com.
They continue, “Film scholars agree, however, that it is the single most important and key film of all time in American movie history - it contains many new cinematic innovations and refinements, technical effects and artistic advancements, including a color sequence at the end. It had a formative influence on future films and has had a recognized impact on film history and the development of film as art. In addition, at almost three hours in length, it was the longest film to date. However, it still provokes conflicting views about its message.”
Yes. And that message was that the KKK was going to save us from the evil "negroes" who only want to rape white women. In this film, there is literally a man in blackface, who tries to rape a white woman. The KKK is the heroes of this film.
Triumph of the Will
A Nazi propaganda film that shaped editing. “Triumph of the Will remains well known for its striking visuals. As one historian notes, "many of the most enduring images of the [Nazi] regime and its leader derive from Riefenstahl's film," according to Wikipedia. Leni Riefenstahl, the director of this film, used cutaways of a very excited crowd during Hitler’s speech. Editing as we know it today is largely due to this film.
The moral of the story, terrible people can do important things. You can’t change the history of cinema. You can, however, try to do better next time.
I was lucky enough to have the rules bent a little for me and was able to check out a Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 lens from my local public library and take it home. I'm currently in pre-productions for a music video and I am interested in possibly using this lens for that shoot.
For my current class, Project and Portfolio IV: Digital Cinematography, I had to view the film "Nanook of the North," a silent film documentary from 1922, and comment on what can be learned from this almost 100 year old film.
I would agree with what Roger Ebert said in his review, in that the Nanook, is unforgettable. In spite of the fact this film is almost a 100 years old, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader spoofed it in a episode of “Documentary Now.” This shows how relevant this film is. What I think we can learn from this film is a well constructed character story will always be in style, no matter the year. This film opened showing us how Nanook’s life is similar to our own. He has a wife(s), children, and even a dog. He has a boat like we have cars, he has a house, and a job (hunting). Then the filmmaker shows us, how his life differs from our own, whilst introducing the conflict; keep moving and find food or else you’ll die. This conflict is engaging and keeps the audience hooked.
"Documentary Now!" Kunuk Uncovered (TV Episode 2015). (n.d.). Retrieved October
02, 2017, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4823560/?ref_=ttep_ep2
Ebert, Roger. “Nanook of the North Movie Review (1922) | Roger Ebert.”
RogerEbert.com, 25 Sept. 2005, www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great
-movie-nanook-of-the-north-1922. Accessed 2 Oct. 2017.
Flaherty, Robert J., director. Nanook of the North. 13 May 2013,
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoUafjAH0cg. Accessed 2 Oct. 2017.